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EDITORIAL: A Lesson From Kenya

  AS we go to press, the presidential election in Kenya between the incumbent Deputy President Samoei Arap Ruto and veteran politician, Raila Oginga Odinga is still too close to call. One key observation for us in Nigeria should focus on Election Day itself. It is important to note that there was no shutdown of…”
Yusuf
August 12, 2022 6:20 am

 

AS we go to press, the presidential election in Kenya between the incumbent Deputy President Samoei Arap Ruto and veteran politician, Raila Oginga Odinga is still too close to call.

One key observation for us in Nigeria should focus on Election Day itself. It is important to note that there was no shutdown of economic activities because of the election. 

This should be food for thought for those who perennially remind us of our “Giant of Africa” status.

The cost of shutting down an economy for a whole day is enormous. Unfortunately, since we are fixated on consumption rather than on production, it does not appear to matter. Well, it does! The country in its present dilemma had better start thinking of raving up revenue generation through production and exporting its way out of a looming foreign currency-denominated debt crisis. 

On Tuesday in Kenya, people admirably dropped their children at school after which they voted and went to work. Banks, commercial houses, and transportation were all in full swing despite a presidential election taking place.

We must learn from Kenya and start preparing for the 2027 presidential election immediately after a new president is sworn in next year. 

Nigeria cannot continue to present an image of itself to the outside world as a backward antediluvian entity. It should be catch-up time and all the processes of the electoral system should be re modelled and modernised. 

This should include Continuous Voter Registration, electronic voting and voting rights for Nigerians in the diaspora. The key point is that the electoral process is a reflection of the strength of a democracy and a reflection of the competitiveness of its economy. We must address the deficiency with urgency.

Kudos to the people of Kenya

 

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